Tips for Accommodating Holiday Travelers

The holidays are a busy time for travelers and property owners alike. Prepare for the holiday season by considering these tips so that you can impress your guests while taking advantage of your own holiday plans!

Fall Seasonal Touches

Be Festive!

Get in the spirit and share those holiday comforts that you enjoy in your own home with your guests! A simple wreath on the door, gourd centerpiece on the dining table, or autumn scented candle in the living room is an inexpensive way of showing your attention to detail and can get your guests in the mood for the season. When decorating your property look for simple autumn or winter themed decorations. Take this opportunity to have fun and get creative with your surroundings! If your property is in a region with particular fall or winter foliage, incorporate it in the home to give your renters a closer connection with the new surroundings. If you use physical keys for your property, consider sending them in a holiday wrapped box to get renters extra excited about renting with you.

Add a Personal Touch

In the vacation rental world, personalization is key to set yourself apart from the competition. Offering rental deals during the holidays is a great way to draw attention to your property. Consider including a gift card to a local restaurant or shop with your guest’s holiday reservation and present it as a gift upon their arrival. In light of the gift-giving season, having something tangible to give to travelers can be more special than simply offering a seasonal discount. If a gift for each booking is out of your budget, something as small as a signed holiday card can be a great way to welcome guests to your home.

Be Well Informed

Although not always the case, chances are that you know more about your rental area than the traveler that has rented your property, so use this knowledge to better include them in your greater community. No matter how large or small your town may be, it is almost guaranteed that it will host some combination of holiday events that are open to the public such as light shows, concerts, festivals, and specialty theater or sporting events. Use this special season to your advantage and learn everything you can about what your surroundings have to offer at this time. Leave a brochure or a simple collection of community event information in your home for guests to use as a reference. If you feel comfortable, consider asking your travelers what their favorite fall and winter activities are so that you may focus your research in one direction.

Plan Ahead

In order to ensure that your own holiday plans will be stress free, be extra careful about updating your calendar and property functions for your in-coming holiday guests. The better prepared you are for the needs of your renters, the less they will need your assistance while you’re celebrating with your own friends and family. Go the extra mile and try to anticipate the needs of a holiday traveler. If you don’t already, consider leaving a guide in your home that includes the locations of shops for great last minute gifts, stores with gift-wrapping services, or restaurants that are guaranteed to be open during the holiday period while most are closed.

Avoid unnecessary stressors by incorporating these tips prior to your guests’ stay this holiday season. You’ll thank yourself for the preparations made and your guests will take delight in the outcome they produce. Happy bookings!

A Booking Doesn’t Make Us Happy

Learning How To Generate More Bookings, Though, Generally Does

Guest post written by: Matt Landau, founder of Vacation Rental Marketing Blog

Here is one of the great themes that I have concluded (and have had validated from many great rental marketers): just generating more bookings is not gratifying.

Signing up for a listing site or writing an ad on Craigslist takes minimal effort and is accessible to every vacation rental owner or manager around the world.

In the great proverb, “give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime,” just accruing bookings means you’re eating for the day.

But when you learn how to generate bookings for yourself – when you decide to take a journey on the education train and accept a challenge that’s probably slightly above your skill level – there is not only the sustainable nourishment that will fuel your rentals over the long haul. This includes (but is not limited to) building your own website, learning about online PR, establishing relationships with locals…etc.

Further, there is a great sense of pride, accomplishment, and gratification along the way of building your own vacation rental marketing portfolio.

Some of the best moments I’ve experienced with my rentals is an intangible happiness I get from finding new ways to fill my rentals. For most owners, the fear of failure is strong enough to keep them away from learning new skills. So when you learn to compliment reliable channels like a FlipKey listing with more innovative techniques, you’ve already set yourself apart from the competition.

But if I could point at one philosophy that has not just made me more money but made the process itself a satisfying and enlightening one, it would be this one.

Matt Landau is the founder of the Vacation Rental Marketing Blog and this excerpt is taken from his newest eBook, The Eureka Effect: How Good Vacation Rentals Become Great available now.